Jaguar Land Rover trials blockchain to trace leather

Jaguar Land Rover
X The Business Desk

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Jaguar Land Rover has trialled the use of secure blockchain technology to ensure full transparency within a sustainable leather supply chain.

The company has partnered with supply chain traceability provider Circulor, UK leather manufacturer Bridge of Weir Leather Company and the University of Nottingham to trial the use of traceability technology in the leather supply chain.

As well as tracking compliance, the digital process enabled JLR to assess the carbon footprint of its leather supply network, working with UK-based Bridge of Weir Leather Company to trace its lowest carbon leather from farm to finished article as part of its commitment to reducing the environmental and ethical impact of its products across their lifecycle.

JLR says it is committed to offering customers more sustainable and responsible material choices for their vehicle interiors, such as the premium natural fibre Eucalyptus textile interior available on Range Rover Evoque, and Kvadrat, a wool blend textile that is paired with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle – available on Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Jaguar’s all-electric I-PACE.

As part of the Innovate UK-funded research, a ‘digital twin’ of the raw material was created, allowing its progress to be tracked through the leather supply chain simultaneously in the real world and digitally. A combination of GPS data, biometrics and QR codes was used to digitally verify the movement of leather at every step of the process using blockchain technology.

Dave Owen, Jaguar Land Rover executive director of Supply Chain, said: “We are currently restructuring our supply chain as part of Reimagine, with a focus on transparency and sustainability. The outcome from this world-first trial will allow us to further improve the sustainability of the leather supply chain around the globe, ensuring the complete traceability of raw materials from origin to vehicle.

“This is one step in our journey to net zero carbon emissions across our supply chain, products and operations by 2039, enabled by leading edge digital capabilities.”

Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO and founder of Circulor said: “Circulor exists to help companies ensure global supply chains are traceable, ethical, and sustainable, and we are delighted to have proven the feasibility of this concept for the industrial leather supply chain. This not only has positive implications for the environment, but can also assure companies and consumers about the provenance of materials in the goods they buy.”